I’m watching the first NLL game of the season, broadcast live over the intertubes. Mike Accursi just scored for Rochester, and the Knighthawks now lead the reigning NLL champion Colorado Mammoth 11-10 in the second quarter.
My friend Mike has a nephew, Shawn Williams, who is a great lacrosse player. He was signed by the Toronto Rock in 1999, and Mike got Rock season tickets to watch Shawn. He brought some other friends to a couple of games, and they started to really enjoy the game. In early 2000, they decided to head to a Buffalo-Philadelphia game in Buffalo, and Mike asked if I wanted to go and check it out. I tagged along, though I knew nothing about lacrosse. I was instantly hooked, and when Mike said they were considering expanding their four season tickets to eight for the next season, I told them to count me in. Since then:
- I have missed only one Toronto home game (because I was on a Caribbean cruise at the time)
- I’ve also seen a number of games in Buffalo and a couple in Rochester
- I run a lacrosse pool for my friends
- I’ve edited hundreds of pages on lacrosse (and created about 50) on Wikipedia
I don’t think you could say I’m obsessed with lacrosse, but I’m certainly a fan.
Colin Doyle was traded from the Toronto Rock to San Jose the other day, which took the lacrosse world by storm, since Doyle has been one of the top scorers in the league over the last few years, has been named championship game MVP three times, and was league MVP in 2005. (Incidentally, Doyle’s page on Wikipedia was one of the ones that I created.) Doyle was traded with another guy (who the Rock acquired in a trade last month) and a draft pick for three young players and a couple of draft picks. One of the players the Rock got was Ryan Benesch, who was the first overall draft pick last year, so the Rock have essentially traded a proven scorer (who’s only 29 — likely lots of good years left in his career) for an unproven rookie, though one with lots of potential. I didn’t care much for Doyle for the first few years, because he was a bit of a hothead, and tended to dive now and again. Over the last two years or so, however, he’s calmed down a lot, and my respect for him has really grown. He also stands perfectly still for the national anthems, and even sings along with O Canada, which impressed the hell out of me the first time I saw it. Long story short, I’m not really sure how I feel about this trade. It’s nice to bring some young blood into the team, and the draft picks in 2008 and 2009 may set the Rock up nicely for the next decade. But Colin Doyle was the anchor of the Rock’s offense and a bona fide superstar player. If Benesch’s potential doesn’t pan out (does the name Nik Antropov ring any bells?) this could be the beginning of a number of “rebuilding” years for the Rock.